Two years ago, Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act into law—the first major overhaul of food safety regulations in 70 years. Now, the FDA has released a draft set of rules that, if passed as is, threaten to shut down local farms by discouraging organic practices and costing farmers thousands of dollars to comply.
While every farm needs an airtight focus on safety, our concerns center on areas where a one-size-fits-all mentality will have an unnecessary impact on smaller farms. This may include expensive weekly water tests for irrigation sources, unnecessarily long waits after manure application before harvest, and tough regulation for farms that now count as “facilities” because they source other local produce to bolster their CSA shares
The National Young Farmers Coalition is teaming up with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to tell the FDA: we need food safety rules that protect both consumers and local farms. Farmers and consumers are hosting letter-writing parties across the country as part of a National Day of Action on October 20th. It’s not too late to get involved! Visit youngfarmers.org/fsma for more information.
Story contributed by Sophie Ackoff a young farmer and membership and development coordinator of the National Young Farmers Coalition, a network of young and beginning farmers organizing for our collective success.